Ambon has it all - Critters, Caves & Wrecks - and provides the perfect setting to bring together aspiring photographers from around the world!
For April 2014 we have organised a group trip to Ambon - one of Indonesia's hottest destinations! The trip will be based at Maluku Divers Resort - a resort on the 'must do' list of the world's best underwater photographers. Maluku Divers offers endless diving opportunities, with multiple critter sites, the Ambon Shipwreck and the Hukurila Caves all just a stone's throw away from the resort. Travelling as a group will maximise benefits for everyone - including room shares for solo divers. We will also have a photo competition on the final night!
The price of this trip is 1,495GBP (2,350USD) per person, including 10 nights accommodation, 8 days of diving (3 boat dives per day), all meals, tea, coffee, water, airport transfers and a photo competition!
Flights can be readily arranged by Equator Diving upon request. Nitrox, extra dives and an excursion to see the Giant eels of Larike can be paid for at resort.
Jo Horrocks captures the diversity of Ambon's underwater world
Wunderpus in Ambon (Yen Chow)
Rhinopias in Ambon (Rod Klein)
Ambon is one of Indonesia's best dive spots, and one of the greatest muck diving locations on the planet. A place of unique discoveries, new species are frequently described for the first time in Ambon, with the most famous being the ‘Psychedelic’ Frogfish (Histiophryne Psychedelica). It is also a hotspot for the elusive Rhinopias Scorpionfish, with Maluku Divers naming one of their dive sites ‘Rhinopias City’.
On a recent trip with Maluku Divers we were amazed by the critter diving - this was adrenaline critter diving, with every dive revealing new critters - some of which appeared to have been on steroids. You could easily dive Ambon for a month without tiring there is just so much to see here. During our time with Maluku Divers we saw new creatures on every dive, including countless Ornate, Robust and Velvet Ghost pipefish, Bumble Bee shrimps, Leaf Scorpionfish, an array of Crabs and Shrimps (including Zebra crabs, Emperor shrimps, Coleman shrimps, Boxer shrimps, Hinge-back shrimps, Anemone shrimps and Cleaner shrimps), Paddle-flap and Lacy Rhinopias, Giant free-swimming frogfish, juvenile Clown frogfish, Ambon Scorpionfish, Mimic octopus, Ribbon eels, Mandarin fish, Banded pipefish (everywhere), at least 6 types of Moray eel, Snake eels, Coral Cat sharks, Thorny seahorse, Pygmy seahorse, baby cuttlefish, a giant Mantis shrimp that looked like it could have taken my hand off...and many more. One of our most memorable dives involved three giant frogfish free-swimming from diver to diver and at one point being perched on our camera housing!
Caves & Wrecks
Maluku Divers Resort is also within easy reach of some of Ambon's other great dive sites, including the beautiful Hukurila Caves and the Ambon Shipwreck. The Ambon Shipwreck was recently identified as the Duke of Sparta, a huge 137 metre length vessel, which was bombed by the Americans in operation Haik in 1958. This clandestine operation is still denied by the CIA, but it's apparent aim was to prevent Indonesia becoming a communist country. This dive is not to be missed, and on our dives we found giant jellyfish, pufferfish, morays and with a little penetration we could easily explore the insides of the wreck.
Rhinopias in Ambon (Yen Chow)
Giant Frogfish (Bonnie Jackson)
Hukurila Cave in Ambon (Matt Oldfield)
Giant eel in Ambon's Larike River (Ben Jackson)
Larike's giant eels!
When it's time to off-gas at the end of your stay we recommend a trip to the local village of Larike where the river contains giant eels! What's more you will likely be escorted there by the soon to be village king, Hafes, who is also a Maluku Divers employee and former competitor in Indonesian Idol (he reached the last 30)!
Beachfront bungalow at Maluku Divers Resort (main picture), bedroom interior and dedicated camera room
Maluku Divers Resort - everything a dive resort should be!
Set amongst mature trees in a beautiful 9,800 metre private beachfront plot, in the village of Laha just 5 minutes from the airport, Maluku Divers have built 10 individual bungalows, supported by on site restaurant, dive shop, large camera room and great dive facilities. The bungalows contain Maluku Diver’s trademark enormous comfy beds, hot water bathrooms, a/c, editing desks with camera charging stations, and each has a private patio with a large, relaxing open air wooden terrace at the front of each bungalow. From each bungalow there are uninterrupted views to the ocean and to the new house-reef critter dive.
Batfish & swirling bait fish in Ambon's twilight zone (Don Silcock)